Tuesday, September 30, 2008

birthday bash!

no, i am not talking about some wild birthday parties and associated orgies! those happened in the distant past in the days of my youth... and no, i am not telling you anything here! (it would be injurious to my health, given the people who read my exploits here!)

i am talking about this strange phenomenon of birthday parties we organise for our kids... our kids who become completely involved in the game of one-upmanship (or one-up-womanship, if you prefer that) that gets blatantly passed off in the name of birthday celebrations!

my son recently attended a pool party... yes a birthday party celebrated in a swimming pool! i was very keen on accompanying him for this one... i put on my most innocent face and told the 'big boss' that i could lend her a helping by taking him to this party... but she always manages to see through my tricks and promptly informed me that none of the kids' mothers would be in the pool... it would only be the kids... that was when i suddenly remembered i had some other urgent work to be done! :P

birthday parties in malls and fancy restaurants are so passe! so what if it puts back the poor dad's (or mom's, before i forget!) finances by a significant number of rupees, the weakening notwithstanding!

i've heard of birthdays being celebrated where the kids are taken for a movie... you say what's the big deal? i'm talking about the entire hall being booked! and then there are birthdays where the kids are taken on a cruise...

gone are the days when a party meant a birthday cake being cut, playing passing the parcel, and then eating potato wafers, a samosa and the cake with a soft-drink to wash it down! this was only on those rare occasions when the birthday was actually celebrated! and there was no concept of return gifts!

these days our kids sometimes walk back home after a birthday with a return gift that is more expensive than the gift we gave the birthday boy/girl! :P

and talking about gifts! the kids get flooded with so many gifts that they don't even manage to open all the gifts before their next birthday arrives! therefore it is not surprising that some gifts make their way around a couple of times and sometimes come back at our own doorstep, like the proverbial bad penny!

and the 'gifting' problem reaches epidemic proportions when you are living in a complex like ours where you have at least 2-3 birthdays every month! with an average of 10-15 kids being invited for each birthday party the numbers of gifts and return gifts can become quite mind-boggling! and as you can imagine, a few local gift shops are doing thriving business! :)

p.s. the big boss and i are trying to organise a group of friends in our complex to get together and give a meaningful combined gift to the birthday boy/girl after consulting the parents.
do any of you have any more creative solutions?

Saturday, September 27, 2008


thanks to a good friend, who's a movie buff like i, i watched 'a wednesday' on wednesday!

and boy, was it a good film!

this is one of those movies which made a relatively quiet entry and has only gathered momentum over the past few weeks! and i think many people are watching because of sheer 'word of mouth' publicity and it is slowly acquiring something of a cult status already!

if you have not yet watched it, you must! you will enjoy every minute of the film, take my word for it! (there was only logical loop-hole i found in the film... and if you have watched the film already then i'd like to know if you spotted it too? write in with your answers and i'll reveal the flaw in a couple of days! :) )

the best part of the film is the powerful message delivered by two equally powerful and towering actors (naseeruddin shah and anupam kher). nothing preachy, just a simple message delivered with a punch.

the story line is kept taut throughout the film... there are a few surprises thrown in and some questions left unanswered...
the complete package is almost perfect, the music enhances the mood of the film (no songs in the 120 minute film), the cinematography keeps you engrossed without going overboard!

the characters are very well etched, and all the actors deliver... the dialogs are very well written and there are a few humorous moments as well!

all in a all, this is film-making at its best! a total 'paisa vasool' film... go and watch it... you can then thank me later by writing in :)

p.s. check out more details at http://www.awednesdaythefilm.com/... though the site didn't load when i tried! :(

Monday, September 08, 2008

digital puzzle!

(solution provided at the bottom of this post)

this is a logical puzzle that struck me when i was waiting at one of those traffic signals which take inordinately long to turn green!

some of the signals mercifully have a digital counter which counts down the seconds between the signal color changes. and as i watched, i noticed that one of the digital digits was showing me a weird set of numerals as it was counting down. it was obviously because one of the 7 (3 horizontal and 4 vertical lines) lines of the figure 8 was not working.

this got me thinking up this particular problem -

which of the 7 lines of the figure 8, if it was not working, would still cause the counter to display the longest sequence of valid numerals, albeit not in logical order? (irrespective of whether the counter was counting up or down)

options -
1. top horizontal
2. middle horizontal
3. bottom horizontal
4. top-left vertical
5. bottom-left vertical
6. top-right vertical
7. bottom-right vertical

also list the sequence of valid numerals.

(p.s. you can send in your answers as comments or by email. the contest closes at 12 mid-night IST on 14th sept 2008)

p.s. in case you like such logical puzzles, click here to check out the previous one!


quite a few people got the answer correctly... though some of them interpreted the problem a little differently...

the correct answer is option 5, the bottom-left vertical segment.

if this segment is defective then the longest sequence of valid numerals that result are - 3, 4, 5, 5 (instead of 6), 7, 9 (instead of 8) and 9!

i have posted all the comments received so far! manasi (http://forevermanasi.blogspot.com/) was the first respondent with the correct answer! :)


Tuesday, September 02, 2008

got rocked!

the 'big boss' is very particular about her quota of sleep. nothing comes in between her and her quota. not even a discussion that i want to have after a sinful dinner about life-and-death issues like the extra 2 inches that i seem to be putting on at the wrong parts of my anatomy!

so if she's sacrificing her sleep and doesn't grumble about missing her sleep for some nonsensical get-together or movie or something, then you can be rest assured that the reason she sacrificed must have been really worth it!

we watched 'rock on' last saturday! very late show... the movie ended at 1 am! we both loved it thoroughly! she actually said that this movie was definitely worth losing sleep for!!!

the movie has a 'dil chahta hai' feel to it! the best part of the movie for me was the music! the actors were perfect for the roles they portrayed, the story was simple and stayed true to the theme, there was a very gritty and natural feel to the entire film, nothing was over-the-top... very highly recommended if you have not already seen it!

i got a late sms the same night after the movie from an ex-colleague who also must have just seen the movie... let me reproduce the sms here as a short review of the film :
"Hey friends, do watch ROCK ON... its a superb flick! Its a sensitive movie with music as a metaphor for life... with delightful little nuggets of humor & realistic dialogues. The movie is refreshingly witty! The music is great, true to a raw band type. Farhan Akhtar, Arjun Rampal & Luke Kenny have done a great job but my personal favourite is Purab Kohli. I loved the end of the movie as well! Take aways -
1. Pursue your passion, no matter what because the happiness & satisfaction you get is beyond measure.
2. Never let a small misunderstanding injure a great friendship... good friends are forever!
3. Life mein compromise karna padta hai!
4. The journey is more important than the destination.

ROCK ON completely ROCKS... Go enjoy the MAGIK!"

yeah i know, quite a long sms!
but it hit the nail on the head and it saves me the effort of reinventing the wheel and writing a review! :P